Unbelievable! Freddie Flintoff beats Richard Dawson on points with a 39 - 38 win, despite suffering a second round knockdown. It was a truly atmospheric night in the MEN Arena as Freddie Flintoff crossed a divide which very few have done before.
Despite looking nervous before the bout, the 6ft 4in cricketer-turned-boxer started as confidently as could be expected. The Preston-born right-hander showed that he would not shy away from conflict, getting onto the front foot early, though his footwork did perhaps look a bit suspect. Flintoff started the fight with his feet very far apart, which undermined the power he'd clearly built over months in a training camp which saw him shed over 20 kilograms.
After winning the first round 10 - 9, the second was tougher for the former England cricket captain. He suffered the first knockdown of his career when caught by a powerful right, though the punch seemed to unbalance, rather than hurt, Flintoff.
Flintoff recovered well, and managed to seemingly limit the damage on the scorecards to just a single point deficit to level the fight.
Roared on by the MEN Arena, Flintoff then appeared to have the best of the remaining two rounds, though they passed by with little noteworthy action.
And as the final bell sounded, the two men embraced before Flintoff's hand was raised for one of the most unlikely victories you're ever likely to see.
Some things you have to see to believe. The 6ft 4in Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff, a decorated cricketer who won over 200 caps for his country across all formats of the game, will lace up a pair of boxing gloves and fight in the heavyweight division.
In what promises to be an intriguing and fascinating night from the Manchester Evening News Arena, the Ashes-winning all-rounder will tread a path that few others have previously walked and switch from cricket whites to boxing trunks.
Flintoff's opponent is 23-year-old American prospect Richard Dawson, who has a 2 - 0 record to his name, including a win by stoppage after his opponent retired.
The Oklahoma-fighter sealed both of his wins in his home town, but he's now looking to venture over to impress a British audience and enter the ring with an MBE and sporting legend.
30 November 2012, 18:45:00